Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Sit! Stay! Heel!

OK, all you doggie owners: I have some questions.

Jake is now nearly 10 weeks old. He's nearly doubled in size and tripled in activity. He's a lovely little guy and a wonderful addition to our family. Laurie and some others suggested I get a puppy crate to help with the house training. I did, and it's worked miraculously. However, we still get about one to two accidents a day. I take him out first thing in the morning, while it's still dark and I haven't had coffee yet. He seems to squat, then I feed him his breakfast. Then he goes out again. This morning I left my daughter in charge while I got a shower. My son came in later to inform me Jake had pooed in the kitchen, but he'd cleaned it up (what a great son I have). Then I took him out again and he came in and peed. So the first question is, should I still expect to clean up a couple of accidents a day and at what point will the penny drop and he'll be able to control himself till he can go outside? I know -- that's two questions.

I'm trying Jake out on the lead (leash) for about five minutes a day in the back garden (yard). He thinks it's a game and chews on the lead as we walk around. When he gets really bad, I stop and say "Sit," which he does, and I then give him a treat. I've also taught him to chase a ball in the house and bring it back. He won't do it outside though. Is he still too young for this sort of training? I will take him to obedience classes once he's fully immunis(z)ed.

He has manic bursts of activity and gets overexcited by the children and bites their ankles, toes, and anything else. Saying no doesn't work. Giving him an alternative toy to chew on doesn't work. Putting him in the puppy crate does work, but I don't like doing that. Any other ideas?

The cats are still wary of him. Actually, they are scared shitless of him because every time he sees them he chases them. I can just imagine their conversations. Pearl: "I HATE him. He thinks he's SOOO cute." Minnie: "And he poos on the grass and doesn't even cover it up. He's disgusting!" Pearl: "What's wrong with us? Why couldn't they be happy with us?" Minnie: "I don't know. I'm going to go hide under the bed and maybe bring up a furball." How can I train Jake to leave the cats alone?

He's absolutely zonked out right now after a frantic morning of weeing, pooing, chasing, chewing, nipping, and yapping. He's lying on his back in what I call his "I surrender" position. Oh so sweet. For now.

On the Awards and Hono(u)rs front, Lady Macleod, who is now off enjoying herself in Canada, bestowed on me the I Love Your Blog award. Thanks very much, Lady M. Now I'm going to do something I don't usually do. I'm going to pass it on to all of you because I do love all of your blogs. I know -- cop-out -- but while thinking about it I decided that everyone deserves this award and I couldn't possibly name just a few that I love more than any other. So, consider yourselves -- and your blogs -- loved.

And can anyone tell me how and why I gained a pound overnight. This after a day yesterday spent spinning for an hour at the gym, grocery shopping (which I consider exercise), and salsa dancing last night. And I was good about what I ate. Something very strange is going on here. I'm trying to lose 8 pounds (or even 3) before a party on the 27th and my body is not cooperating!


Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

Okay I have no dogs so can't help you on those questions (although rubbing their nose in the 'accidents' helps them realise that they shouldn't be doing that)

On the weight front. First things first DO NOT WEIGH YOURSELF MORE THAN ONCE A WEEK!!!!!! Your body can differ day to day, hour by hour. For a true result, weigh yourself once a week at the same time, wearing the same clothes. When you hop on the scales daily, and you may get an untrue reading, maybe due to water retention, especially if you've done a load of exercise and haven't drank enough fluids to replace what you've sweated out, your body will hold the fluids it gets. I'm going to email you about something else.

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

If you had an email addy on your blog! lol

Please email me on

I've got a proposition for ya.

laurie said...

ha! i love this post. i'm jealous you have a puppy.

here's my two-cents' worth:

there will still be accidents until he grows big enough to hold it. when they're tiny, their bladders aren't big or strong enough to hold it all the time. boscoe had accidents until he was about four months old.

(we kept him crated all day, poor thing, because we were at work. i'd dash home at noon, let him out, stuff him back in the crate and go back to work. poor little guy.)

re training: no, it's not too early. you're doing great! he fetches, he sits, he's learning to walk on a lead. you're fabulous. treating him when he does good is the best way to do it. one of my friends put it best. she said, "when he does good, i want him to know it's christmas!" and she just showered him with treats. every time. he learned quickly.

funny that he won't play fetch outside yet, but it's probably because there are so many distractions. he'll catch on. he's a border collie, right? they're not usually big on fetch. i still can't get boscoe to play. he'll retrieve a few times and then gets bored.

re the nipping: get a squirt gun. fill it with water. when he nips someone, immediately squirt him in the face. border collies don't care for water. boscoe used to nip us on the heels--it's a herding technique, very ingrained in him. the squirt gun cured him very quickly.

if you can't squirt him, or you're not around, tell the kids to do this: when he bites or nips, immediately squeal loudly (they get scared by that; they know something's wrong), and turn around and IGNORE HIM IMMEDIATELY.

he wants to play. ignoring him is very effective; he'll quickly put two and two together and figure out that when nipping starts, playtime ends. so he'll stop nipping.

good luck!! publish photos!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

OK, VI, I won't weigh myself daily anymore. Do you think the stomach bug over the weekend might have affected things? I'll email you. I didn't put an email contact on my blog because I still haven't told hubby, or very many others, about it.

Laurie: Right, spray bottle is on my shopping list.I'll tell the kids to squeal and ignore him, and we'll see what happens. He's very social and doesn't like to be left out.

Self employed mum said...

I'm sorry I can't help with the dog issue, we have got a little kitten she is 9 wks old, they seem much easier to train. She swipes with her paws and nibbles, her nibbles were becoming a little more than nibbles and so by trial and error, if we say NO, she tends to stop and if she doesn't stop we put her down, she soons stops so I suppose it's like ignoring her and they don't like it. That's probably of no help whatsever - sorry. x

Kaycie said...

One of the most effective things I used with Jack were little training treats the size of kidney beans. I kept a supply in my pocket and rewarded him for anything he did that I wanted him to repeat. It worked wonders.

Our cats have put Jack in his place themselves, for the most part, so I'm afraid I'm not much help there. I will say the cats stood up for themselves better when I didn't interfere.

Jack was probably three or four months old before he stopping having accidents. The important thing is schedule, schedule, schedule followed by lots of praise when he pees or poos where you want him to.

Good luck! He sounds adorable.

Kaycie said...

I may have mentioned this before, but there is a book I have found very useful with Jack. It's called "Puppy Parenting" and was written by Gail Clark.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I'm not going to be much help on the puppy training front, unfortunately. Sounds like you have some great advice here though.

As for the weight - I agree with not weighing more than once a week.Is your period getting ready to start? Anything else unusual?

You're doing all the right things. It'll come.

Flowerpot said...

I agree with Laurie and others - it took Mollie about 6 weeks from when we got her (8 weeks) for her to be housetrained. There are times when you think it will never end but it will! As for the nipping, yes I always gave a loud YIP because that's what their siblings would do if they nipped each other and that worked with us. Our vet had a 5 week socialisation class for puppies of his age and that worked brilliantly for us and Mollie. Might be worth a go? Good luck and pls let's see pics!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Self-employed mum: Kittens definitely are easier to train. Dogs are more like kids!

Kaycie: I expected my cats would put Jake in his place but they just run away. I'll look for Puppy Parenting. Thanks.

RC: I don't get periods anymore thanks to early menopause so I can't blame that, but I can blame the HRT.

Flowerpot: I'll ask the vet if he runs such courses. I thought he would have mentioned it last time we went if he did.

Kelly said...

God- you are doing so much better than we are! We have had Nugget for nearly a year and she still sometimes has accidents in the house, though I suspect purely to punish us for something....the crate works wonders, though we cottoned on to this quite late and it took her for ever to get used to it. She goes in it at night now...and we are working on moving her downstairs (I know, I know!)When I let her out first thing in the morning, she goes and des her business then legs it back upstairs for a sneaky hour on our bed.

At night however, and because she is a terrier, she gets out into the garden and runs around llike a loon, forgets she needs to pee then waits to do it in the house (always in the bathroom though, so easy to clean.) I have found the best way is to take her out on the lead.

Re: fetching and any other training, use treats. I give Nugget a treat every time she gets the ball and brings it back to me...sometimes it's the only way she'll let go of it. I have the book It's Me Or The Dog from the TV series and think it's really helpful I totally second what someone said about ignoring/yelping and/or waer squirter for nipping. It really worked for us. And Nugget stopped chewing most things quite early on- you just have to keep JAke something else, keeping tempting things out of reach as much as possible and/or distracting him with a game of tug.

God, what an essay- take it all with a pinch of salt...we are still a work in progress!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Kelly: Sounds like Nugget has the life of Riley. I use the puppy treats for fetch and sit. Haven't worked out how to do it for the lead. I'll check out that book too. I watched that program, as well as the Dog Whisperer (everything is the owner's fault apparently).

laurie said...

what you want is for your dog to learn "targeting." you want him to target your hand, because when he does that he's close to you. "targeting" is having him gently touch something with his nose.

he'll learn very quickly to target your hand if you put a tiny treat in your hand, close the hand, and hold the hand down at your side. when he touches your hand with his nose--and he will, because he'll smell the treat--you open your hand and let him have the treat.

this is a useful way to teach him to walk next to you nicely on the leash. he'll learn that if he stays next to you, it's christmas.

-Ann said...

I was going to suggest the squirt gun and social exclusion, but Laurie beat me to it. I would warn against using the crate as a punishment, since that should be a Happy Place (TM).

I also second the notion of not weighing yourself every day. Weight really can fluctuate wildly. I only consider my morning weight, after a trip to the bathroom, to be my true weight.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Thanks, Laurie, I'll try that.

-ann: I know. I didn't want to use the crate as punishment, but it does calm him down.

laurie said...

re weight: i'm going to go against conventional wisdom here. i weigh myself at least three times a day. it keeps me on track. yes, it goes up and down and i try not to obsess but look for overall trends.

but by staying vigilant, i can maintain self control.

the less often i weigh myself, the more often i overeat.

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

It may have had something to do with the bug, when did you weigh yourself before? Email me mate, I'm about to start a special online service for certain bloggers, which you may be interested in.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

laurie: there's been some research that found that people who weigh themselves daily after losing weight maintained their weight loss better.

VI: I'm doing it right now.